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Pilot Custom 74 Being Very Dry



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Hi,

 

I received my Pilot Custom 74 (Fine) today. I found that it is very dry without applying pressure, in other words the pen doesn't write on it's own weight. In order to write with it, I need to apply more pressure than I usually do (in comparison with Metropolitan & Sailor 1911, I generally write without applying much pressure on the paper).

 

Since the ink flows well when the two tines are apart under pressure, I suppose the feed works well.

 

I wonder if it is my bad luck or all Pilot #5 fine nibs are like that?

 

Thank you in advance.

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In my experience, often Pilot nibs come writing a bit dry. Indeed, many (or most) manufacturers ship nibs that way, because it's much easier to open the gap than to narrow it. I typically use my thumbs and forefingers to grasp the tines and pull them apart very gently, until I get the rate of ink flow that I'm looking for. Good thing we humans have opposable thumbs!

 

Don't overdo it, because you can either get too wet a flow or, in an extreme case, prevent ink flow entirely, because there's no capillary action.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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This is a condition that seems to afflict Pilot #5 nibs in the fine tip. I've owned lots of #10 and larger nibs without the problem. Nevertheless, the #5 fines sometimes come with the tines too close together: The downstroke is okay, but it's almost impossible to make a mark sideways.

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I have the same problem from this same model but with a C nib, it should be smoother than Diplomat with a broad nib but sadly it's almost scatchy as my Metro F. Not my favor writer, I'm planning to buy either a 742 with a C nib or a 743 with a C nib in the future, but I'm still saving for a very expensive Sailor later this year hence it's difficult to decide the difference between those 2 models and 912 (also a C nib).

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It happened to me with my SM nib. It takes a little adjustment as Dr Grace has pointed out but also soaking the nib/feed in soapy warm water and the converter too.

 

However, once the flow has been corrected, it becomes a stunning writer. I assure you it will be worthwhile.

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rutherfordr

It happened to me with my SM nib. It takes a little adjustment as Dr Grace has pointed out but also soaking the nib/feed in soapy warm water and the converter too.

 

 

I've never had to adjust the nib of any Pilot fountain pen, but I do find that I have to wash out any new pen with mild dish soap and water before I use it.

Scientia potentia est.

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Thank you all for replying!

 

I'll definitely try to wash and adjust the nib. I like the balancing of the pen very much, it feels better than Sailor 1911 standard.

 

Next time I'll probably get a 92. The clear looks cool. Hope there would be a piston filler pen with #10 nib though.

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JunkyardSam

I have two Pilot Custom 91s (which use similar/same nibs.) F and EF.

 

Both pens behaved exactly as you described... With zero pressure they would hardly make a line at all, but with a little pressure they would open up and write just fine. That told me the feed was OK, it had to be an issue with the nib.

 

Upon close inspection the tines seemed to be incredibly tight. Pressure on the paper spreads the tines and allows the ink to flow.

 

I'm no nibmeister and there are probably safer ways to do this -- but I gently removed the nib & feed (they are friction fit and pull straight out) and used an index card between the tines to gently spread them apart.

 

The amount I spread them was nearly imperceptible. A very subtle change... I was incredibly careful, of course.

 

But what I ended up with is suddenly the pens write wonderfully! Nice, appropriately wet (but not super wet) writers. Smooth. Similar to (but feeling better than) my Metropolitans and Prera.

 

It was a subtle enough change that the EF reverted to its overly tight tines after a day or so, but a second flossing made it work well again and it's been great ever since.

 

I believe most people use "brass shims" for this. I was warned the card might leave fibers in the tines but it didn't.

 

PS. Yes, I thoroughly flushed the pens before doing any of this to rule that out as an issue.

Edited by JunkyardSam
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Thank you! I used a piece of high-quality paper to do so. It did leave some fiber in the slit, then I flossed it with .. er... dental floss. Works pretty well for me now!

 

I have two Pilot Custom 91s (which use similar/same nibs.) F and EF.

 

Both pens behaved exactly as you described... With zero pressure they would hardly make a line at all, but with a little pressure they would open up and write just fine. That told me the feed was OK, it had to be an issue with the nib.

 

Upon close inspection the tines seemed to be incredibly tight. Pressure on the paper spreads the tines and allows the ink to flow.

 

I'm no nibmeister and there are probably safer ways to do this -- but I gently removed the nib & feed (they are friction fit and pull straight out) and used an index card between the tines to gently spread them apart.

 

The amount I spread them was nearly imperceptible. A very subtle change... I was incredibly careful, of course.

 

But what I ended up with is suddenly the pens write wonderfully! Nice, appropriately wet (but not super wet) writers. Smooth. Similar to (but feeling better than) my Metropolitans and Prera.

 

It was a subtle enough change that the EF reverted to its overly tight tines after a day or so, but a second flossing made it work well again and it's been great ever since.

 

I believe most people use "brass shims" for this. I was warned the card might leave fibers in the tines but it didn't.

 

PS. Yes, I thoroughly flushed the pens before doing any of this to rule that out as an issue.

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JunkyardSam

Thank you! I used a piece of high-quality paper to do so. It did leave some fiber in the slit, then I flossed it with .. er... dental floss. Works pretty well for me now!

 

 

Oh, thanks for the followup! I'm glad it worked for you!!! Yeah it doesn't take much to fix this condition. The other thing I would suggest is to always test your pens with a very standard, simple ink. I guess this is an obvious thing, but you don't want to adjust a pen based on its performance with a particularly dry ink and then have it ruined for other inks.

 

I find my Pilot Fs and EFs to be a little picky about what inks flow well through them.

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Oh, thanks for the followup! I'm glad it worked for you!!! Yeah it doesn't take much to fix this condition. The other thing I would suggest is to always test your pens with a very standard, simple ink. I guess this is an obvious thing, but you don't want to adjust a pen based on its performance with a particularly dry ink and then have it ruined for other inks.

 

I find my Pilot Fs and EFs to be a little picky about what inks flow well through them.

 

 

I also heard generally Pilot pens don't go well with some Noodler's inks. I'm using Iroshizuku asa-gao in this case, it should be a fairly well-behaved ink.

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JunkyardSam

You said it worked pretty well after flossing. Is it still working well?

 

It took two passes to get my Custom 91 EF working well. I widened gently with an index card and it worked well for a day or two... but I had to do it one more time before it "took" and it's been flowing well ever since.

 

Iroshizukus are said to flow well - I only have one so far: Chiku Rin. For comparison, Noodlers Black with a single drop of liquid dish soap added to the 3oz bottle flows even better in my Pilot pens. It did require the soap -- the Noodlers would actually "stop" in my Falcon SEF before the soap ... but with the soap added it works great.

 

That bottle of Noodlers Black actually flows well in my Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA, which is notoriously bad for having flow problems!

Edited by JunkyardSam
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I love Pilot pens that don't railroad on push strokes. FOUR Pilot pens I have ordered (new) over the past year (two Custom 74s (EF and F), a Justus 95, and a Custom 742 SU) I have returned for refund because they railroaded or skipped badly on push strokes. Three Pilot pens I bought in the last year wrote well after ultrasonic cleaning, and being filled with various Noodler (Eel and non-Eel) and Pilot (iroshizuku and big bottle) inks: Elabo Metal FA, Custom 742 FA, and Custom 845 FA (annual special). The fact that the FA nibs didn't railroad on pushstrokes when used RH and LH shows to me that either Pilot has a QC problem or intends the pens to be used for scripts without push strokes (kanji/hanzi). I think the former is more probable.

Edited by hualalai
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I usually test my new pens with either Aurora black or Perle Noir; well my 74 C is almost as dry as Sahara, C is a new M these days I guess. After reading previous posts I tried the method and it did become wetter, I have been thinking that my 74 is a black lemon since I bought it from Japan; anyway thanks for the useful info.

Edited by Kahler
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When I received my Custom 74 medium it was quite dry. Down strokes were find, but left strokes and up strokes didin't leave much ink.

I spread the tines and now it's working very well. Maybe a bit too wet even, so be careful if you spread the tines.

YNWA - JFT97

 

Instagram: inkyandy

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ink-syringe

My pilot pens (don't ask how many) all really behave better with pilot ink in them. Not a big Iroshizuko booster but the Iro inks have been great in my pilot pens.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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You said it worked pretty well after flossing. Is it still working well?

 

It took two passes to get my Custom 91 EF working well. I widened gently with an index card and it worked well for a day or two... but I had to do it one more time before it "took" and it's been flowing well ever since.

 

Iroshizukus are said to flow well - I only have one so far: Chiku Rin. For comparison, Noodlers Black with a single drop of liquid dish soap added to the 3oz bottle flows even better in my Pilot pens. It did require the soap -- the Noodlers would actually "stop" in my Falcon SEF before the soap ... but with the soap added it works great.

 

That bottle of Noodlers Black actually flows well in my Pilot Custom Heritage 912 FA, which is notoriously bad for having flow problems!

 

WOW, I'll surely keep in mind about the soap trick.

 

Yes, it's working well so far. I guess it will stay this way for pretty long.

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When I received my Custom 74 medium it was quite dry. Down strokes were find, but left strokes and up strokes didin't leave much ink.

I spread the tines and now it's working very well. Maybe a bit too wet even, so be careful if you spread the tines.

Thanks for the reminder. One couldn't be too careful when doing nib works!

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  • 1 year later...

I got a C74 some months back and had a lot of issues between scratchiness and dryness. I used a sheet of microfiber to smooth the nib out and it feels heavenly but the dryness has still been an issue and interfered with having a good experience with the pen. With a little pressure it works okay. I use Namiki black in it. I did try using Stephen Brown's method of pressuring the tines to allow for flow and it works to a degree for a while. I've also used a brass sheet from Goulet, though that is more for cleaning. Perhaps the index card method will help. I'm wary of trying to do it with my hands. The pen is absolutely magnificent otherwise.

...The history, culture and sophistication; the rich, aesthetic beauty; the indulgent, ritualistic sensations of unscrewing the cap and filling from a bottle of ink; the ambient scratch of the ink-stained nib on fine paper; A noble instrument, descendant from a line of ever-refined tools, and the luster of writing,
with a charge from over several millennia of continuing the art of recording man's life.

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